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and leadership. and the second is do you support chuck hagel as secretary of defense and what is your evaluation of the criticisms of american general since world war ii. except for you and general petraeus. [laughter] >> you know, it's painful to read about general is being criticized because a lot of it is correct. you see it, and you say, oh, that's me, i am guilty of that. we had shortcomings of not being strategically enough minded, you know, you get very focused on her job, your tactical part of the mission, not thinking of the big strategic problem that you are trying to solve. that may or may not be a good criticism, but it's certainly worth paying attention to. but it is a useful thing to throw out there. what was the first one? >> okay. >> if chuck hagel will take the job right now, god bless them. whoever will be the secretary of defense, they will go through this constricting budget, they will implement things in combat. implementing it is going to be hard. something is going to come to ahead with iran during this for years, just mathematically. it will be a very difficult for years.
sequestration. secretary panetta will retire pending the confirmation of defense secretary nominee chuck hagel. [laughter] >> you are on your own, kid. >> good afternoon. as you know, this is i believe my final press conference here at the pentagon briefing room. there are moments when i thought i was part of the last act of an italian opera and i'm not sure exactly when it would end. i think that the congress will act, and that they will confirm chuck hagel this week. what i wanted to do was come down and use this opportunity to first of all thank you all, all of you that are part of the press corps here and the press in general. throughout my 50 years in public service, i have always believed, believed very deeply in the role of the press. because i believe deeply in the role of the american people in our democracy, information is a key to an informed electorate. and while we may or may not agree with every story, in the grand scheme of things, because of the work of the press, i believe the truth always comes out and in and, we cannot really serve the american people well ms we deal with th
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